The Chicago Cubs are 59-97 with six games remaining in the 2012 season. The Colorado Rockies completed a sweep over the Cubs on Thursday, September 27, with a 7-5 win, giving the Cubs five straight losses. The Cubs have not played well down the stretch and have now lost nine of their last 10 games. With two series remaining, against the Arizona Diamondbacks and Houston Astros, Chicago is now dangerously close to completing a 100-loss season.
The Cubs were outscored by the Rockies 23-10 in the three-game set. Aside from a shutout in the second game of the series, the team's offense actually put up some runs. However, this lineup is not strong enough to post big innings consistently and were down early on Thursday night. The Cubs were behind 3-0 after the first inning and 7-2 after the third.
Starting pitcher Chris Volstad has been far too inconsistent, and he may be pitching his way out of a shot with the team next season. In six August starts, Volstad allowed only 15 earned runs. He regularly kept his team in the game and earned his first two wins with the Cubs. September has not been as good, though. Volstad has now surrendered 22 runs in five starts this month, with 18 coming in three games. After averaging six innings per game in August, Volstad has not made it past the fifth inning in September, exiting after three on Thursday. His season ERA is now 6.64.
The offense had a few bright spots on Thursday, including first baseman Anthony Rizzo, who had three hits, two RBIs and a home run. Also, outfielder Alfonso Soriano doubled in the ninth inning to drive in a late run and cut Colorado's lead to two. The Cubs collected 13 hits in the game and put pressure on the Rockies' pitchers despite being down early in the game.
The Cubs will now face a 78-78 Arizona team trying to finish above .500. I am hoping the Cubs can take at least one game from the Diamondbacks, leaving a chance of sweeping the Astros to avoid triple-digit losses.
Mike Patton is a sports fan who grew up in New Orleans cheering for the New Orleans Saints, Chicago Cubs, and LSU Tigers. As a kid in 1987, he made his first trip to Wrigley Field and also slept outside of the Louisiana Superdome to purchase playoff tickets for the Saints' first postseason appearance. Follow Mike on twitter @MikePattonGBS.
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